We at the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance are optimistic about the gradual cultural change towards embracing flexibility taking place in many U.S. corporations and firms. Each year at our annual conference we celebrate individual and organizational successes that truly demonstrate how flexibility can positively influence the way we work and live without impacting career development and financial success.

This year’s conference is entitled Diversity + Flexibility = An Evolving Culture, and we hope our attendees will leave inspired about the future of flex. We have structured the conference to arm attendees with concrete tips on how to better weave flexibility into their organization’s culture and, in so doing, foster a more diverse and inclusive team.  Please join us on March 16 in Washington, DC.

This year we’re presenting three awards to individuals and organizations leading the way in this flex revolution.

2017 Flex Impact Award
Our inaugural 2017 Flex Impact Awards will be presented to two law firms: Hogan Lovells US LLP for its Global Agile Working Initiative, and Winston & Strawn LLP, for its new gender-neutral Parental Leave Policy.  These awards recognize the organizations that are setting the trends and having the most impact on the culture of flex in business and industry.

Hogan Lovells’ Global Agile Working Initiative allows attorneys and business services members to explore and implement their own unique agile working plan. Hogan is truly creating a culture that encourages flex and is committed to meeting the needs of the next generation of employees.

Winston & Strawn’s new gender-neutral Parental Leave Policy allows up to 20 weeks of paid leave for attorneys regardless of gender. It’s important to highlight that in their policy, parents are not required to designate themselves as “primary” or “secondary” caregivers, a distinction that does not always reflect the needs of today’s families with two working parents. We chose to recognize Winston & Strawn because they have truly set the bar at a new height when it comes to gender-neutral parental leave.

2017 Flex Leader Award
Our 2017 Flex Leader Award, given to an executive who is moving his or her organization toward a more inclusive workplace through holistic flexibility, will be presented to Nancy Laben, Chief Legal Officer, Corporate Secretary and Executive Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton.

Ms. Laben has been a strong supporter of a Booz Allen Hamilton program that encourages flexible work schedules when client work allows.  To avoid traffic, lessen their commutes and spend more time with family, employees are often allowed to work remotely or from offices closer to their homes.  The feedback from Ms. Laben’s team has been positive, and the flexible culture has helped attract top talent.

2017 Flex Success™ Award
Our 2017 Flex Success™ Award, recognizes partners at Alliance member organizations who have achieved a high level of success while working a reduced hours schedule. Highlighting the important role that clients play in the support of professionals working flexibly, we also recognize a client who has been integral to each partner’s success.

This year’s honorees are Felicia Gerber Perlman, Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and her client Charles Baker, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Ball Corporation; and Phyllis Wan, Partner at Hogan Lovells US LLP and her client Carol McDaniel, Vice President of Administration and Operations at AXS TV LLC & HDNet Movies LLC. While working reduced hours schedules for more than ten years, both of these partners have excelled in their firms, been recognized in their fields, consistently given back to their communities and provided support to other attorneys working flex in their firms.

I hope that by highlighting and celebrating those who are leading the way in this evolution of flexibility in the workforce, we demonstrate to others the positive impact that workplace flexibility can have on recruitment, retention, employee satisfaction and overall business success.

photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com